SD-WAN and IoT: A Long Road Ahead

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

•SD-WAN products are well suited to address the complexity and scale of IoTAs diversity in IoT grows.

• SD-WAN vendors will be challenged to address the specific needs of new and increasingly specialized IoT products.

Commercial IoT networking in the short term is more about connecting and protecting IoT devices and gateways that are already deployed, or will be soon, rather than having to support a raft of new, IP addressable devices. The IoT name has been equally applied to what otherwise are called sensor networks, command networks, industrial Ethernet, and other network-attached devices. SCADA devices certainly fall into this realm. The difference being that these devices are being connected—on purpose or inadvertently—to public networks and exposing them to the potential for additional attacks.
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EMM/IoT Management Convergence: Are We Making Progress?

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Operators, OEMs, and service/application platform vendors keep hinting about converged services and platforms to manage both traditional enterprise mobility and IoT functions
  • Has the ecosystem made much progress in these efforts; does it need to make more?

Service delivery and management platforms for EMM and M2M/IoT have some similarities; EMM manages mobile devices used by people, by managing, securing and containerizing devices and the applications residing on them or accessed by them. IoT platforms for connected devices/machines are a bit different and tend to be divided into service delivery management, and application enablement, with device management sometimes added in and other times missing in action. The vendors that talk the most about bringing these two separate worlds together have been the mobile app platform vendors – if SAP, Oracle, IBM, HP, and Microsoft can help businesses develop mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, developing an app that collects and integrates data with back-end databases from wirelessly connected machines, vehicles, or sensors is a natural next step. EMM vendors such as Vmware/AirWatch. MobileIron, Blackberry, and Good include IoT routinely in their discussions of the future of the “digital workspace” but it’s not clear that many customers are using their platforms to managed connected IoT devices. Jasper and VMware have achieved some level of service delivery and EMM platform integration, adding the key element of device management element to Jasper’s IoT solution. Continue reading “EMM/IoT Management Convergence: Are We Making Progress?”

Over 19 IoT Radio Protocols Drive the Need for Integration APIs

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • With over 19 Internet of Things (IoT) radio protocols in use today, the need for consolidation is clear.
  • Short of consolidation, integration of IoT devices will occur at the application layer with robust APIs.

Many of the ‘things’ in the IoT like lights, sensors, switches, HVAC controls, and other actuators will be connected via wireless gateways because rewiring a building is expensive. I counted over 19 wireless protocols between standards-based protocols, proprietary protocols, and protocols that have a basis in both standards and proprietary protocols. Continue reading “Over 19 IoT Radio Protocols Drive the Need for Integration APIs”

MEAP Leaders Repurpose Middleware as They Seek IoT Opportunity

Charlotte Dunlap
Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Mobile application platform providers target Internet of Things with middleware gateways, advanced APIs

• Red Hat leverages JBoss integration, messaging; while Kony taps MBaaS MobileFabric

Mobile app platform providers are quietly assembling IoT strategies and solutions, based on their flagship middleware technology, in hopes of providing an important middle tiered component between devices and data centers. Here’s a quick peek into the early IoT efforts of Red Hat and Kony.

Red Hat refers to that middle tiered component as the control tier or the gateway. These gateways handle the data pre-processing necessary to stream aggregated data sets; and real-time analytics for rapid insight into the data in order to trigger business rules which control the actions at the device. Included in Red Hat’s set of middleware IoT building blocks is its Data Grid in-memory computing technology, its FUSE integration technology, and its A-MQ messaging to support data transport. And though it’s not required, of course Red Hat claims the most optimal experience is achieved when combined with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system. Red Hat’s belief is that gateways provide the mechanism which allow the IoT to scale, solving latency problems between the device and the data center.

Red Hat does not offer a formalized IoT solution, rather it has assembled a set of building blocks based primarily on JBoss technology for enterprise customers building IoT solutions. The company has created a new subscription pricing tier to accompany these efforts, based on one to multiple workloads leveraging its gateways and RHEL. The pilot program is expected to be formalized within a year and I expect Red Hat will partner where necessary to fill technology gaps for issues such as systems level security.

Leading mobile app platform pure play Kony will leverage advanced API technology within its mobile app platform to connect to the slew of wearables hitting the market (think Apple Watch combined with Apple HealthKit). Like Red Hat, Kony sees its role as providing value around improving data streaming between the device and data center (i.e., at the event collection/orchestration level). Specifically, it is evolving its MBaaS technology, MobileFabric, to provide integration and messaging services to enable connection to the sensors used in wearable technology. (Please see Kony Addresses Agility, DevOps Concerns via API Management, Analytics, July 23, 2015).

Continue reading “MEAP Leaders Repurpose Middleware as They Seek IoT Opportunity”

M2M Heavyweights Back Standards Drive for Wireless IoT, but They Need Help

Summary Bullets:

  • Cisco and Accenture add global credibility to the Wireless IoT Forum’s standards rationalisation efforts, while WSN Tech adds China to the UK contribution from BT, Telensa and Arkessa.
  • Consolidated standards should give developers a bigger target market at which to aim, increase innovation in applications, reduce develop-ment costs and lower ROI thresholds for buyers, but market history suggests it may never happen.

The Wireless IoT Forum, backed by Cisco, Accenture, BT, Telensa, Arkessa and WSN Tech, hopes to rationalise the many largely proprietary wireless standards used in M2M/IoT applications. It believes this will encourage more application developers and systems suppliers to enter the sector, giving more choice, so that more customers buy wireless M2M projects. Continue reading “M2M Heavyweights Back Standards Drive for Wireless IoT, but They Need Help”

Attack and Defense Together Drive Enterprise Analytics Strategies

Jerry Caron
Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:

• The motivation for high levels of data and analytics initiatives may be as much about worry over the implications as it is about innovative differentiation.

• The demand for better business-grade data to drive insightful analytics will merge with the capabilities being developed by suppliers to create a very important and exciting era of strategic IT.

Organizations of all sizes and types are preparing themselves for a new wave of strategic IT initiatives driven by big data and analytics—quite often linked to Internet of Things (IoT) programs—according to a recent Current Analysis global study. But to be fair, the motivation for this high level of engagement may be as much about worry over the implications of such programs as it is about innovative differentiation.

The capability for organizations to utilize big data to improve or transform business processes more easily is one of the most significant IT-related developments in at least the past decade. Analyzing and acting on customer or process information is not at all new, of course. What is new, however, is the emerging capability to analyze unthinkably large stores of data, very quickly, and in easily-understood visualizations that can either inform decision-making in near real-time, or indeed fuel automated process enhancements and tactical actions.

The potential power of enterprise data and analytics is as daunting as it is impressive. It can enable everything from rather mundane process enhancements that improve profitability, to vastly higher rates of customer satisfaction, to entirely new business models that disrupt conventional business practices to their core. All of these outcomes and more have business executives at the highest levels paying close attention. The recent Current Analysis Enterprise Investment Plans study shows that while over 20% of enterprises are actively pursuing analytics projects, the vast majority—59%—are considering an analytics project in the next 12 months. That means lots of companies are currently in the stage of thinking about what to do.

Much of IT is about enabling or improving processes. Strategic IT, however, builds and drives organizations to entirely new business models or new levels of competitive differentiation. Like web commerce previously, data and analytics is one such strategic IT opportunity. What is interesting to note about the high numbers of organizations still thinking about what to do is that it implies indecision. That itself can be interpreted in two ways: the thinking about analytics is either an offensive strategy with careful assessment about how to attack the market with a clearly differentiated proposition, or it is defensive maneuvering to avoid being blindsided by competitors.

I suspect it is mostly the latter, if only because the tools to democratize analytics, as my colleague Brad Shimmin puts it, are taking shape just now. Whether driven by offense or defense, the demand for better business-grade data and analytics will merge with the capabilities being developed by suppliers to create a very important and exciting era of strategic IT.

Continue reading “Attack and Defense Together Drive Enterprise Analytics Strategies”

The Intersection of Cloud and M2M Will Help Create the “Internet of Things”

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • “Cloud” means all things to all people, but for M2M, and especially for its larger cousin, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud services are taking on an increasingly important role.
  • Clouds will be necessary to store and analyze machine data, to allow connected devices to talk to each other and share data, and to be easily updated and managed. This larger view of the IoT, rather than the stodgier and more limited M2M market, is key to the vision leading to the 20- 50 billion (some say trillions) of connected devices in many IoT forecasts.

A lot of M2M vendors and enterprises are starting to forego the use of the word M2M and are replacing it with IoT, implying a much bigger set of “things” that will all be connected to the Internet (and to each other) using every available fixed and wireless access technology. To get to this larger market, cloud services are critical, because a secure, reliable infrastructure is necessary to manage the connection and interconnection of all of these things, as well as their ability to be updated and managed and their ability to communicate with each other and with humans who need to interact with them or want to use their data. Continue reading “The Intersection of Cloud and M2M Will Help Create the “Internet of Things””